Guest Author - A. Maria Hester, M.D.
Heart attack is the leading cause of death in America. One out of every 5 deaths in America is due to heart attack. Each year, over 1.2 million heart attacks occur in the United States and close to 460,000 are fatal; 300,000 people die before they even receive medical treatment.
The major risk factors for heart attack are:
Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death in America. The good news is
that approximately one-third of the annual cancer deaths in the U.S.A. are believed to be due to inadequate physical activity and nutrition factors, including excess weight. Smoking alone accounts for approximately 30% of all cancer deaths. Diet also plays a major role.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in America.
Risk factors for stroke:
Chronic lung diseases, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, are in the top 5 causes of death in America. It is important to distinguish acute bronchitis, a respiratory illness virtually all of us will get at some time in life, from chronic bronchitis, which is essentially a disease of cigarette smokers. THE main risk factor for chronic lung disease is cigarette smoking.
High blood pressure directly contributes to heart attack and stroke. Again, we see a similar pattern for risk for this disease.
Risk factors for HTN:
Too much sodium
Too little potassium
Diabetes also contributes a great deal to the excess suffering and premature death in the United States, and abroad.
Some risk factors for diabetes include:
Family history of diabetes
The Diabetes Prevention Program proved that type 2 diabetes can be prevented
or delayed through modest weight loss (5 to 7 percent of initial body weight)
and regular physical activity. In fact, these modest changes resulted in a 58 percent reduction in the development of diabetes in persons at increased risk for the diseases and especially in those over age 60.